An update on our licence arrangements
Here is an update for our existing clients, who received a note from us earlier this year regarding a shift of our authorised representative licences from RI Advice Group Pty Ltd to a Perth-based dealer group under the name of Sentry.
A bit of background
Following a review of our business operations, the directors of WSP Pty Ltd (the holding company for our two business trading names : Streamline Financial Planning and Wealth & Security Planners) had decided to move our financial advice licences to another Australian Financial Services Licence (“AFSL”) holder. Specifically, to move from RI Advice Group Pty Ltd to Sentry Wealth. After a 6 month lead-in preparation period leading up to May this year, our corporate and individual adviser licences were ready to move to a new dealer group. However, last minute changes within the broader industry put a hold on that transfer. It is now four months later and we are still not able to confirm an actual move as yet. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It appears that most of the steps have been worked through, and it is the expectation of the directors of WSP Pty Ltd that a clear direction should be available by the end of the year.
No change as yet
For the purposes of being clear – there has been no change in the licencing so far. That means there is no change to our dealings with you, and we continue to help our clients day-to-day in sorting out their financial plans. Once we have some clarity and direction for these business changes we will again be in contact to confirm any new details we may have. It’s far less than ideal but that’s an outcome of a financial planning world that is undergoing immense change. The changes are for the most part positive, and the intent is that the general public can have more confidence in the advice they are receiving.
Why were we changing in the first place?
Our business held its own financial planning licence (called a “dealer’s licence”) for many years, until we made the decision to move to a larger licence – RI Advice Group Pty Ltd. While this change has been beneficial, it became clear that our long term business aims were not really aligned with those of the larger institutional dealers. After consulting with RI Advice, the decision was made to move to another licence – and from our business point of view, ideally one that was not aligned with the larger institutions as our focus and priority is likely to differ from that of a large institution.
How does all that impact on you?
Your adviser continues to be available for information, services, advice and help with your strategies and where applicable, various accounts.
There is no change to any policies or accounts you may hold with any one or more of the various companies that we deal with on your behalf.
The change in ‘dealer’ or AFSL holder is mainly a back-office change. Once upon a time this was not the case. Large institutions severely limited the ability of their advisers to provide advice and services to anything other than that particular institutions’ policies or accounts. This was a cause of much bias and led to perceptions of bias – even if this were not actually the case. This has been changed to a large extent, and more recent legislation has enshrined the idea of “client best interest” in the provision of personal financial advice. However, there remain substantial differences for your financial planner when making the decision of which licence to operate under, and these differences can lead to changes in where a financial planning licence should be held – asis the case with our business.
If there is any aspect of this that concerns you then please simply call our offices and speak to your adviser who will be able to clarify any difficulties you may have.